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Higher glucose availability augments the metabolic responses of the C2C12 myotubes to exercise-like electrical pulse stimulation


American Journal of Physiology | Endoctrinology and Metbolism



Juulia H. Lautaoja, Thomas M. O’Connell, Sakari Mantyselka, Juuli Perakyla, Heikki Kainulainen, Satu Pekkala, Perttu Permi, Juha J. Hulmi


The application of exercise-like electrical pulse simulation (EL-EPS) has become a widely used exercise mimetic in vitro. EL-EPS produces similar physiological responses as in vivo exercise, while less is known about the detailed metabolic effects. Routinely, the C2C12 myotubes are cultured in high-glucose medium (4.5 g/L), which may alter EL-EPS responses. In this study, we evaluate the metabolic effects of EL-EPS under the high- and low-glucose (1.0 g/L) conditions to understand how substrate availability affects the myotube response to EL-EPS. The C2C12 myotube, media, and cell-free media metabolites were analyzed using untargeted nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics. Furthermore, translational and metabolic changes and possible exerkine effects were analyzed. EL-EPS enhanced substrate utilization as well as production and secretion of lactate, acetate, 3-hydroxybutyrate, and branched-chain fatty acids (BCFAs). The increase in BCFAs correlated with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and BCFAs were strongly decreased when myotubes were cultured without BCAAs suggesting the action of acyl-CoA thioesterases on BCAA catabolites. Notably, not all EL-EPS responses were augmented by high glucose because EL-EPS increased phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase and interleukin-6 secretion independent of glucose availability. Administration of acetate and EL-EPS conditioned media on HepG2 hepatocytes had no adverse effects on lipolysis or triacylglycerol content. Our results demonstrate that unlike in cell-free media, the C2C12 myotube and media metabolites were affected by EL-EPS, particularly under high-glucose condition suggesting that media composition should be considered in future EL-EPS studies. Furthermore, acetate and BCFAs were identified as putative exerkines warranting more research.

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